Best Buy has unveiled a new logo for the first time in nearly 30 years in conjunction with a brand refresh supported by a marketing campaign highlighting the retailer’s culture, expertise and employees.
The Brand Story
The consumer electronics retailer began its rebranding process about a year ago, zeroing in on the interactions between its "blue shirt" employees and shoppers as a way to represent the retailer’s personalized customer service.
“Telling the story of our people — and how we make a meaningful impact on customers’ lives — is at the heart of this work,” said Best Buy’s chief marketing officer Whit Alexander in a May 9 company blog post. “Our people are our insurmountable advantage.”
In that vein, the retailer's new tagline, “Let’s talk about what’s possible,” positions the chain as an “inspiring friend who helps customers understand what they want to do and how tech can help them achieve great, new things,” wrote staff writer John Vomhof Jr. in the aforementioned blog post. The new motto replaces “Expert Service. Unbeatable Price,” which was in place for five years.
Best Buy also stuck with its own people on many fronts through the rebranding process as most of the campaign was executed in-house. "We needed a way to tell the story a little differently through how we interact with customers,” Ad Age quoted Alexander, noting that Best Buy still works with outside agencies including Redscout, Grey and Wunderman on creative strategy. Starcom deals with the chain’s media duties.
This comes a year after Best Buy consolidated its marketing department and eliminated the chief creative officer position. According to Ad Age, the retailer hired Bruce Bildsten, who spent 25 years at Fallon Agency, as executive creative director in November, and has since continued ramping up the creative team.
The New Look
The rebranding strategy is embodied by a modernized logo and a revamped website boasting updated photography, colors and “conversational language,” wrote Vomhof Jr.
“The updated logo is true to our heritage, but it’s really cleaned up,” Alexander said in the blog. “It’s an evolution toward the future, and we’re really excited about that.”
Following the lead of Google, Verizon, Century 21 and many others, Best Buy opted for sans-serif font to produce a simplified logo that is easier to read across digital channels. The yellow tag, which dates back to the 1980s and has become an icon of the consumer electronics retailer, remains part of the logo, but appears in a reduced size positioned to the right of the bold lettering rather than behind it.
A few variations of the new logo have taken the spotlight. According to the retailer, the new look preserves the bold, black text of the original (far left). Aside from the initial announcement, which depicted the black-on-white version (middle right), so far Best Buy has mostly been using the faded white-on-blue version (far right) or the white lettering over a solid blue logo (middle left) for social media.
Debuting last Wednesday, the new look immediately took over on bestbuy.com, Best Buy’s social media accounts, and in digital ads and TV commercials, and was represented in Best Buy's weekly circular the following Sunday. Other digital advertisements as well as in-store displays and signage, employee uniforms and shopping bags will flaunt the new logo and branding in coming months.
Shared by Ad Age, a 30-second TV spot (view at bottom) shot in black and white (aside from the signature blue shirts appearing in color) shows Best Buy employees counseling customers, focusing more on the shopping experience Best Buy provides and less on the products it has for sale. A 60-second version of the ad will air digitally, while 15-second clips will also debut on TV. Directed by Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris, the spots and digital videos were set to debut May 13.
“The commercials highlight the blue shirt’s role as an inspiring friend who helps customers solve their needs and discover what’s possible with technology. The ads focus on the conversations between our blue shirts and our customers. The products are the payoff at the end,” wrote Vomhof Jr.
A dedicated web page within bestbuy.com also manifests Best Buy’s refreshed mantra by making clear that the retailer is there to help consumers along their technological journey. The page immediately opens the door to conversation, communicating “our two cents is free” and "'Excuse me,' is music to our ears,” while touting complementary services such as the In-Home Advisor and Tech Support.
Best Buy representatives did not disclose the budget of the new push, but spent $139.3 million on measured media in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media.
Holistically, the website, the ads and the TV spots all exemplify the same conversational, people-oriented voice and tone Best Buy is aiming for as part of its Best Buy 2020 strategy to enrich lives through technology and focus on its customer-experience strategy, which builds on the turnaround enabled in large part by the retailer positioning stores as showrooms to hold its own against online competitors.